"Ask Dr. Tracy"

7/11/99 Advice Column

Links to Dr. Tracy's prior Columns, in case you missed any

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A Fool For Him
Nude Models Need Love Too
Can Kids Kill their Love?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been in a relationship with a man that I thought was perfect for me in the beginning, Our relationship is what I consider a long distance relationship. I have traveled from Pennsylvania to West Virginia, every weekend for 1 year and 2months, I never missed a weekend and we have had what seemed to be a (Perfect Relationship),for that time.

Febuary 13th, we had our 1st. fight. I was told that I was Overreacting bigtime, to qoute him. And that I'm too jealous and hotheaded,and he will not stand for it. I've never seen this side of him before, he has never been mean,violent,or anything other than the perfect man.

I need some advice on this one, I want to know if you think I was over reacting or if he is pulling the wool over my eyes.

We are two gay males,both of us are 29yrs.old, He is from W.V. & I'm from P.A.. The problem has been in the background for a while, I have been feeling like I'm not that important to him anymore,but I kept it to myself. We were on his computer recently, when some guy I don't know IM's him. This guy seemed so worried about our relationship,wanting to know where we met,how long we've been together,if we really love each other,and on and on. He kept asking if I was still there watching what he was saying,and my boyfriend told him yes I was.

Then this guy asked my boyfriend to ask me to leave the room so they could talk in private, I was shocked and hurt when my boyfriend asked me to leave! I should add that I've had a feeling that he might be cheating on me,but I have no proof of that. I was told that if it was not too bad He would let me see what it was about,when they were done and I came back He would not let me know what it was about,so I figured it was my boyfriend was going to cheat on me with this guy. That's when I was told It's none of my business,I'm to jealous,hotheaded,and even crazy.

We both said we want to work it out and stay together, He said he hates his Computer because it ruined his life, but I have caught him redhanded trying to pick up other guys on the internet,even me,(I used a different screen name), he didn't know it was me,then I tell him who I am and he replies,I'm just on here to check my e-mail and get off of here.

I feel like he wants to keep our relationship, because he can pull the wool over my eyes, and get away with god knows what during the week when I'm not there. Still, he will cry and say he has nothing to hide from me. He wants to resolve this but says he don't know what the outcome will be. I don't know what to think or believe anymore!! I hope you can shed some light on this. I want to stay with him,but not if what my feelings are telling me is true. I love him but I don't want to be a fool for him.

Please help if you can.

Dear Fool,

One thing you'd be a fool to think is that weekend visits are the same as a full relationship. They're not. If you want to really get to know someone you have to spend long times together, weeks, months and years and even then the person you think you know so well can surprise you.

The way you get to know someone is to see them under stress, to see how they react when everything isn't planned out and going their way. Because when you only see someone once a week, they can sometimes put aside their really awful side. But be with someone full time and you will eventually see how they react under stress, because life is full of stress.

So you've finally seen Mr. Wonderful under stress and look what's happened. He didn't act like you expected. While you don't know for sure that he's cheating on you, you know he's looking -- and acting very suspicious. My guess is that in this case, "where there's smoke there's fire." In any case, he's certainly inconsiderate of your feelings, and that hurts and feels like a betrayal. You have every right to be angry and upset.

You need to spend a lot more time with him before you can decide whether he's perfect for you. And he'd have to agree in front that, if you become committed to each other, he'd quit his "IMing" with other guys. It would mean no more secret correspondences with others about the details of your relationship and no more asking you to leave the room to continue that kind of conversation.

Since spending full time together and reaching that kind of understanding with him both seem unlikely, I'm afraid that you'd be a fool to blindly trust him between weekends.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have had a crush on this guy for the past few months. We've been seeing each other at least once a week since we met and we have just recently had sex. He is usually the one to pursue when we do get together, but he never takes me out and he doesn't want to date me seriously. He says the problem is my job as a nude model. He's very jealous and possessive. He can't handle the fact that other people can see me nude or his friends always making comments about what I do. I know that he likes me, and he has asked me to quit my job plenty of times, but, is there anything else I can do to make him want a real relationship with me? Or do you think it's something else and he's just making excuses? No man has ever had a problem with this. Thank you so much

Dear Nude Model,

Very few red-blooded American guys are secure enough to deal with other men seeing their sweetie nude. Men are generally somewhat possessive and jealous and find it very difficult to think about other guys leering at their loved one.

He's never going to be the boyfriend you really want, so you might as well face facts. He's not going to be happy as long as you're modeling and you're not going to quit. So find a guy who doesn't have a problem with your career.

Even if you quit your job for him, there's no guarantee that he wouldn't still be bothered by the fact that you used to model. If you want a real relationship, find a man who thinks you're great just the way you are, not a guy who will only love you if you change.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

i can't tell you how helpful you have been to me in the past. i bought your book years ago on how to make a man fall in love with you. my lover is both visual and kinesthetic, i am auditory. despite our many personality differences, we have a very strong relationship because our core values are very very similar and we both have a sense of humor about life, and an issue, once resolved, is resolved. this is beyond the shadow of a doubt the man i want to spend the rest of my life with....he is 38, and i am the first woman he has ever fallen in love with. he was in a loveless marriage years ago, but has been a bachelor for a long time now.

the fly in the ointment: both of us have 9year old daughters. i have been a single mother for my daughters' entire life, and mitchel and his wife divorced when zoe was two. both girls are highly intelligent (both are enrolled in the gifted program), both of them relatively well-adjusted and secure. the problem is that they cannot get along at all. evenings that we try to get the four of us together turn into shouting or crying matches. mitchel and i have never fought over the girls, but the constant tension between the two of them puts an unnecessary strain on the relationship. zoe confided to me one night that she hated being the child of divorced parents and that she wanted nothing more than for her parents to remarry. (her mother is already remarried.) mitchel told her she was dreaming, that it was never going to happen (he is very blunt), but i think she sees meghann and me as a threat to that dream. meghann, on the other hand, has had me to herself for nine years, and i wonder if she isn't starting to feel as if her territory has been invaded.

i don't want to see this relationship end over the insecurity of a couple of prepubescent girls, but there is no way at this point that we could consider marriage. all hell would break loose. the ironyof it is that i think that what both girls need most is jsut that stability. zoe in particular needs to see what a loving, passionate, affectionate relationship looks like. (her mother is extremely cold and ungiving toward men, and zoe mimics her critical demeanor.)meghann needs to see that a strong, loving man is an integral part of an ideal household.

help! what do i do? mitchel and i are at a loss.

Dear At A Loss,

You and Mitchel deserve a chance at happiness. It almost sounds like you are afraid of your girls. You shouldn't let the children rule your life.

I know that's easier to say than to do, however. Divorced parents often feel as if they owe extra to their children, to make up for the divorce. So they bend over backward to make up for what they feel their children have missed.

Each child wants to protect their number one position with their parent and will do anything to keep their parent single. It's a normal reaction - everyone wants to have control over the source of their love and pleasure, even kids. The other part of the problem is your girls' fantasy that their parents will remarry. Any new man in your life threatens that fantasy. It can take years of seeing you and Mitchel together for Meghann to get over that fantasy.

The answer is for you and Mitchel to form a united position and begin to do things without the kids. Leave them at home with relatives or baby sitters sometimes so that you give your relationship a chance to bloom without the stress. Don't give in to begging or pleading. You deserve a life.

When the kids see that their bad behavior has consequences - like being left home for one thing - they'll begin to reconsider their bad attitudes. Then, if you do decide to take them and if they act up when you're together, start leaving them at home again.

There are so many blended families today that your problem isn't unusual. However, don't try to force togetherness to show the girls what a loving "normal" family is like. There are so many different kinds of blended families today that whatever you can work out is normal.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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